The Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute provides access to scale-up facilities and lab space to help clients on the path to commercialization. But the CCCI is much more than infrastructure. We are a unique mix of experienced multi-disciplinary engineers, technology developers, academic researchers, graduate students, and international experts.
Below are a few examples of the research groups and projects we are associated with:
Innovative precipitating solvent-contactor process for CO2 removal from industrial exhaust gases
A CDN$3 million international collaboration to optimize a novel carbon capture system could significantly reduce the cost of capturing carbon from industrial processes. The project is led by Norwegian research organization SINTEF and funded by Norway’s national carbon capture and storage research funding program CLIMIT. The organizations plan to integrate two novel technologies: a unique concurrent contactor built by Westec Environmental Solutions and a novel precipitating solvent developed by SINTEF. The Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute (CCCI) will be responsible for engineering design work to scale up the process if initial tests are promising.
Working toward a low-energy way to capture carbon
George Shimizu, University of Calgary, and his researchers are developing new solid sorbents for separation of carbon dioxide from gas mixtures including post-combustion flue gas (coal and natural gas), shale gas and biogas. The team is employing a class of sorbents known as metal organic frameworks (MOFs), and they have developed a promising material, Calgary Framework-20 (CALF-20) that has been licensed to Bow Valley Innovations. CALF-20 shows excellent capture ability at low partial pressures of CO2 but also has a low energy penalty for regeneration. Unlike many other sorbents, it is also very stable in the presence of water in the flue gas. CCCI support enabled next stage development and the identification of optimal system engineering requirements.
A cleaner capture method: Housing CO2 in water cages
Dr. Englezos and his research team at the University of British Columbia are working to develop a pre- and post-combustion carbon capture technology that is both clean and environmentally benign, using gas hydrate crystallization. The research involves optimizing conditions to get water molecules (host molecule) to form predictable and well-defined molecular cages using hydrogen-bonds to capture and hold guest molecules such as carbon dioxide and methane.
Two specific flue mixtures, CO2/N2 and CO2/H2, have been tested in the lab to provide a basis for both pre and post-combustion capture scenarios respectively. The CO2 captured can also be stored in solid form as a solid gas hydrate that provides the advantages to storage scenarios (reduced CO2 mobility and migration within a reservoir). The system uses water as a solvent and eliminates the need for toxic materials. Another advantage of the process is that it can simultaneously capture H2S and SO2, thus eliminating the need to have pre-treatment steps for pre-combustion capture.
A low carbon technology to increase water supply
Dr. David Wilkinson and his research group at the University of British Columbia have developed a technology that has the potential to have a large impact on global CO2 emissions while addressing the issue of decreasing global water reserves. The novel technology, which is being demonstrated at BC Research, uses CO2 to desalinate industrial wastewater, creating a smaller carbon footprint and an economical alternative to conventional desalination and CO2 removal technology. This waste-to-value technology combines salts present in industrial wastewater with CO2 in an electrochemical cell to convert the CO2 into high-value chemicals such as carbonate salts and acids that are particularly useful for the oil and gas industry.
The development of the novel UBC technology under a Emissions Reduction Alberta grant has been very successful with all milestones being met or exceeded. This work has been possible with leveraged funding through Western Economic Diversification (WED) Canada, the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada, the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, and an industrial collaborator (NORAM Engineering and Constructors).